Books, more Bookfairs, and Ideas

It is now five months on from the 2014 Bristol Bookfair. Despite some crap weather in the late morning, the sun shone later and the turnout was pretty good as once again hundreds turned out to grab some political literature, attend the discussions, network & socialise. As usual the Bookfair was self-funding, with stall fees, donations, the cafe and after-party combining to more than cover costs. The 2014 Bookfair Collective has now dispersed, and an event in 2015 will only happen if enough people come together to make it happen? With the next UK General Election due around May 7th 2015, an Anarchist Bookfair around that time could be part of an intervention into the ongoing failure of UK party politics & parliamentary rule, and the dire need for some serious alternatives!

London 2014There’s a good chance you may be in need of some more anarchist literature & discussions to inspire you with ideas? Lets face it the world hasn’t exactly improved since April! Issues such as resource wars, climate change, wealth inequality, privatisation, political/financial corruption, corporate & state control, nationalism, racism, religion, sexual abuse, to name just a few, continue to impact negatively on all our lives, and we can be certain the political parties wont solve these problems for us. So here are a few upcoming events and resources offering you the anarchist alternative….

HamburgMore Bookfairs – the Bookfairs of the World site reminds us of upcoming Bookfairs, such as Bradford & Leeds on 27 September, Lisbon/Portugal on 26-28 September, Hamburg/Germany on 4-5 October, and Manchester on 29 November.

London Bookfair – the UK’s oldest & biggest London Bookfair returns on Saturday 18 October, at Queen Mary Uni on the Mile End Road, London, E1 4NS. As ever a number of Bristol groups will be present amongst the 100 or so stalls, and there are at least 50 meetings & film showings to get stuck into. There’s also a big anti-austerity demo in London that day, organised by the TUC so it may be quite limited, but you never know? You could combine the two!

If you are in London for the weekend, then on the Sunday 19 October there’s at least 2 worthwhile options:
Afem2014_smallAnarcha-Feminist Conference 2014, at the same venue as the Bookfair, from 10am-6pm. They say: ‘AFem Conference 2014 will be the first of what we hope will be a series of international anarcha-feminist conferences. The focus in this first year will be mainly, but not exclusively, on the anarchist movement itself and our place within it. The need for this has been obvious for a long time within anarchist organising. We are not represented in equal numbers and often are not taken seriously. Barriers to our full political participation remain intact and are reinforced by our own movement. We face oppression even in our own groups and organisations. Efforts to shut us down, belittle our ideas, and physically assault and abuse us have led to our anger. We identify an anti-feminist backlash where we have raised feminist and related anti-oppressive ideas. This means that our anarchist movement is not truly ‘anarchist’. We will no longer tolerate this. We want to transform our movement.’

StopCJA1Revolt of the Ravers: The Movement Against the Criminal Justice Act, 1994 – at The Mayday Rooms, 88 Fleet St, London EC4Y 1DH, from 2-11pm. They say:
Twenty years ago, on 9 October 1994, a huge demonstration against the Government’s Criminal Justice Act ended in London’s Hyde Park with riotous clashes, police horses charging, and people dancing to sound systems. The Act brought in new police powers against raves, squatters, protestors, travellers and others, and was passed amidst widespread opposition. This event will include memories of this movement, its ways of organising and representing itself and will feature displays of its ‘material culture’ such as zines, flyers, cassettes and letters.Some history & context here.

gelderloosFinally….back in Bristol on Monday 20 October, there’ll be a meeting with the largely Euro-based American anarchist & author Peter Gelderloos, who is doing a short UK tour including the London Bookfair. Gelderloos newest book is ‘The Failure of Nonviolence’ (review), however we understand his Bristol talk will feature on gentrification, and resistance to it, based on his experiences in Barcelona over recent years (gentrification in Barcelona really kicked off in the years before the 1992 Olympics there, which saw widespread social cleansing). See downloads of Gelderloos writing here.

If all that ain’t enough to keep you going, then dont forget to check out these local places:
Hydra Bookshop, 34 Old Market, Bristol BS2 0EZ – radical community bookshop & social space run by volunteer workers co-op. Great coffee available whilst you browse.
Kebele Infoshop, 14 Robertson Rd, Bristol BS5 6JY – anarchist infoshop based at Kebele social centre and open when the centre is open. Also takes stalls to events. Range of anarchist books, pamphlets, music, mags plus free info.

And these online distros:
Active Distribution – cheap as chips and punk as fuck anarcho-distro
AK Press – extensive range of books for some heavy reading, and much more
Christie Books/Films – extensive film archive (free to watch) plus books to buy and art to view
Freedom Press – the original anarcho distro almost as old as anarchy
PM Press – wide range of books, films, audio and more